From Publishers Weekly
Monsters, according to popular opinion, live under beds. Koller (the Mole and Shrew books), rather than deny these beasts' existence, questions their frightful intentions. In this mildly suspenseful tale, a boy named Howard tells his mother, "I heard [a monster] snurkling under my bed." Meanwhile, a young monster informs his mother that he hears a boy "sneezing on top of my bed." Left alone by their disbelieving parents, human and monster peek at each other and shriek in fear; only when their terror turns to tears do they dare a second, curious look. On the closing page, they trade places for a practical joke that's left to the reader's imagination: " 'Oh, Mommy,' they both called together. 'Mommy, come quick!' " Lewin (Somebody Catch My Homework) draws in loose, Quentin Blake-style gestures of pen and ink, and fills the negative space with watercolor washes of dusky blue and brown. She envisions Monster (who reads a scary comic titled Boy) as a warty green gargoyle with clawed toes, a boar's snout and tusks. Koller invents a monster vocabulary: Monster "whimples" when Howard whimpers, and "sniggles" when his friend giggles. The plot is predictable and even a bit shopworn, yet the energetic telling and agreeable illustrations could put some fears temporarily to rest. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2. When Howard tells his mother about the monster under his bed, she says there's no such thing. Young Monster's mother says the same thing when he describes the boy on top of the bed. When the two at last meet, however, with an eye-popping mutual "Aagh!" it's clear that they have much in common, including parents long since fed up with their offspring's imaginations. The bonds of friendship forge, and the final page shows the two hatching a plan to scare their disbelieving moms. Like Mercer Mayer's There's a Nightmare in My Closet (Dial, 1968), this is a satisfying version of the familiar tale of child/monster coexistence. It runs a gamut of emotions from apprehension to frustration (both child and parent), terror, empathy, to, finally, the friendly sharing of a good joke. Lewin's ink-and-wash cartoon scrawls lend just the right exaggerated and humorous touch to put Koller's all-too-likely scenario over the top. Children will recognize themselves in this tale and will enjoy conjuring up denouements limited only by their imaginations.?Meg Stackpole, Rye Free Reading Room, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.